Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Ford Mustang VS 2013 BMW 3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Ford Mustang

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VS

2013 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

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The Mustang has standard tall side airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and front passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The 3 Series Convertible doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

The Mustang’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the Mustang and the 3 Series Convertible have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

In a 31 MPH side-impact test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashes a 3300 pound sled into the side of new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Mustang Convertible is safer than the 3 Series Convertible:

Mustang

3 Series Convertible

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Structure

GOOD

GOOD

Driver

Head Protection Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Torso Injury Rating

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Criterion

224

385

Shoulder Movement

40 mm

64 mm

Rear Passenger

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Torso Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Shoulder Movement

32 mm

33 mm

Warranty Comparison

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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Mustang 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Convertible. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Convertible ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 11 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Mustang has a standard 590-amp battery. The 3 Series Convertible’s 570-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The 3 Series Convertible isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

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The Mustang has more powerful engines than the 3 Series Convertible:

Horsepower

Torque

Mustang 3.7 DOHC V6

305 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

420 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

Mustang Boss 302 5.0 DOHC V8

444 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

328i Convertible 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

230 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

335i Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

335is Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Mustang V6 is faster than the 328i Convertible 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Mustang

3 Series Convertible

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13 sec

17.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Mustang gets better fuel mileage than the 3 Series Convertible:

Mustang

3 Series Convertible

3.7 V6/Manual

19 city/29 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

6 cyl./Manual

3.7 V6/Auto

19 city/31 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

6 cyl./Auto

3.7 V6/Auto (Conv.)

19 city/30 hwy

n/a

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Mustang’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Convertible:

Mustang V6

Mustang

328i Convertible

335i Convertible

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

14 inches

12.3 inches

13.7 inches

The Mustang stops much shorter than the 3 Series Convertible:

Mustang

3 Series Convertible

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

105 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Convertible (255/40R19 vs. 225/40R18).

The Mustang V8 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 3 Series Convertible, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Mustang offers an available set of manually adjustable shock absorbers. They allow the driver the manually set the shock absorbers to a stiff setting for amateur competitions and return them to lower levels for a comfortable ride on normal streets. This allows the driver to choose between a comfortable ride or excellent handling during competitions. The 3 Series Convertible’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Mustang’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions, which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 3 Series Convertible.

The Mustang GT Convertible handles at .91 G’s, while the 335i Convertible pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Mustang’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the 3 Series Convertible’s (33.4 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Ford Mustang may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the BMW 3 Series Convertible.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Mustang has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The 3 Series Convertible uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 3 Series Convertible with its top down (9.6 vs. 7.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Mustang Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge –, which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 3 Series Convertible has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its extra cost BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The 3 Series Convertible’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Mustang’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mustang has standard extendable sun visors. The 3 Series Convertible doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Mustang owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Mustang will cost $235 to $4220 less than the 3 Series Convertible over a five-year period.

The Mustang will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Mustang will retain 46.22% to 57.52% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Convertible only retains 46.15% to 47.58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Convertible because typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the 3 Series Convertible, including $351 less for a water pump, $143 less for an alternator, $20 less for front brake pads, $11 less for fuel injection, $550 less for front struts and $224 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Mustang will be $11837 to $23511 less than for the BMW 3 Series Convertible.

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